A big “score” at a great garden center or nursery results in guilt. Not about the money I spent, but the giant pile of pots and tags left in the wake of the planting frenzy. I plan to provide a more thorough review/discussion on this topic in the future – but for now, I want to share what I learned in a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s (MOBOT) recycling center in St. Louis (part of the Perennial Plant Association’s annual conference). As one of the public gardening world’s leaders in conservation and sustainability, their program is truly revolutionary and apparently very successful. In place since 2006, they’ve kept hundreds of thousands of pots out of the landfill.
Dr. Steve Cline,recycling guru and dynamic Director of MOBOT’s Kemper Center for Home Gardening, explains the system to our group.
Start with your basic pile o’ pots, knocking out loose soil, beer bottles, whatever they’ve accumulated.
Deliver them to either a participating garden center (there are several) or the garden’s recycling location and place in the appropriate bin.
If off site, pots get hauled to the garden’s Monsanto Center for recycling. Garden staff and volunteers then send them off to the great and loud Pot Chipper in the Sky…
resulting in pot confetti…
…which gets shipped to manufacturers of cool things like plastic lumber!
Voila. Guilt relieved; IF you garden in the greater St. Louis area. I’ll be talking about alternatives for the rest of us in a future post!